With a sprawling 10-acre maximum-security compound in Canada, a company that sells vitamins and nutritional supplements aims to sell an even better natural remedy.
The conventionally held wisdom is that large tobacco companies are poised to benefit the most from widespread marijuana legalization. They already have supply chains that could take on the task of producing joints or spliffs just as easily as tobacco cigarettes. These companies also already deal in controversial substances, so they wouldn't shy away from the challenge. While Big Tobacco is reportedly looking into the potential for marijuana sales, there's another, more unexpected sector that's also getting into the act: the vitamin and nutritional supplement industry.
A Michigan nutritional supplement company called Creative Edge Nutrition is branching out into the marijuana space with a 10.3 acre growing facility in Windsor, Ontario that can generate up to 1.3 million pounds of marijuana worth about $5 billion every year. And unlike almost every other firm in the marijuana industry, Creative Edge is a publicly traded company (though it's only trading at about 10 cents at the moment).
They aren't going to have street names like 'OG Kush.' It's #$%$, not recreational marijuana.
CEO Bill Chabaan first became interested in #$%$ about a year and a half ago. But as an attorney, he was wary of getting involved in the U.S., where states have varying levels of legalization but marijuana sales are technically illegal on the federal level. So he started with a low-risk venture by licensing formulations for hemp-based products to dispensaries in the U.S. This past April, Chabaan put together a 900-page application to become one of Canada's commercial marijuana growers (the country is transitioning from a system of 22,000 individual growers providing #$%$ to one where a small number of tightly-regulated producers generate all of the country's legal weed).
Chabaan's won't be licensed for growing for at least another few months, but he's already expecting to have his first products on the market in Canada this year. "It's a facility with state of art security measures that replicate a federal maximum security prison," he says. The entrepreneur hired a Canadian police veteran who has worked with the DEA in the past to take over the $3 million security project; a number of attorneys are also on the marijuana team. As part of a partnership, another company called GrowLife is getting 25% of the revenue stream in exchange for financing and grow equipment.
Canada doesn't allow its marijuana growers to advertise, but Creative Edge is planning to launch a #$%$ educational program for physicians. "We intend on having 50 different strains," says Chabaan. The company is licensing the use of software that allows healthcare practitioners to enter the qualities they seek (increasing appetite, lowering anxiety, etc.) and find out which marijuana strain is best for their patients. "They aren't going to have street names like 'OG Kush.' It's #$%$, not recreational marijuana," Chabaan.
Once legalization gets adopted on a federal level, we would absolutely open across the country.
That's not to say Chabaan isn't interested in recreational marijuana. Creative Edge retains lobbyists in nearby Michigan, which already has a #$%$ program. "They want marijuana to be dispensed in pharmacies. Once [legalization] gets adopted on a federal level, we would absolutely open across the country," he says. In the meantime, Creative Edge plans to export its marijuana to other countries. Israel, for example, has a free trade agreement with Canada as well as a #$%$ program, so that will be a target nation for exporting.
Chabaan thinks it makes perfect sense for a nutritional supplement company to get in the marijuana business. "I think you'll see a lot more health and lifestyle companies than tobacco companies, he says. "In Colorado,the top two products are gummy bears and chewing gum."
This is a great coordinated effort by CEN Biotech and its partners - Growlife (PHOT), Endexx (EDXC) and RXNB Inc.
The news: A fully realized pot industry in America just became a lot more possible. On Friday, the Obama administration officially gave banks the green light to do business with legal marijuana sellers, clearing up a major hurdle these businesses have been facing for years.
Until now, a series of laws and regulations have made it very difficult for these legal businesses to work with banks, which are wary of giving loans and accounts to what was considered questionable businesses. But now legal distributors will be able to set up accounts, secure loans and more easily keep track of their finances. In Colorado and Washington, the legalization of recreational marijuana use has sparked a fast-growing industry that's generating millions of dollars in sales. One of the biggest problems for the industry has been an inability to manage these finances is an efficient way — marijuana business owners have been literally forced to pay their taxes with bags of cash.
Why this is such a big deal: The move solidifies marijuana as a legitimate national business.
Though the Obama administration announced last year that it wouldn't be challenging these states' decision to legalize recreational marijuana, it did little else to remove what would surely be serious challenges for these businesses. But on Friday, the administration took that next step and laid out a path for banks to work with marijuana businesses in mainstream commerce. Most importantly, the Treasury Department will no longer be going after banks that do conduct business with these dispensaries, which was once punishable by harsh fines. Banks will have to adhere to strict regulations and carefully monitor the sources of a marijuana business's money so as to not inadvertently launder money, but the changes make it much easier for legal businesses to operate legally.
"This is very good news," Steve Horwitz, owner of the Ganja Gourmet in Denver, told the Washington Post. "The opposition and difficulties to being in this industry are just unimaginable. Every time you think you're going forward, you go back 100 yards."
This could also work out very well for banks. According to ArcView Market Research, the legal marijuana industry in America is expected to generate $2.57 billion in sales this year, giving banks a lot of new money to work with.
The critics: Of course, while this might seem like a great idea, not everyone is on board.
"Marijuana trafficking is illegal under federal law, and it's illegal for banks to deal with marijuana sale proceeds under federal law. Only Congress can change these laws. The administration can’t change the law with a memo," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. Grassley echos the concerns of other Washington officials — like Obama's own DEA chief — who say that removing legal roadblocks for drug entrepreneurs isn't as simple as flipping a switch, and suddenly going in a different policy direction.
But we all know how "effective" Congress can be, so perhaps the administration is just doing what it knows needs to happen.
Though marijuana is legalized in Colorado and Washington, it has been extremely difficult to operate these businesses. Hopefully this will be the next step in what's shaping up to be a slow but promising effort to realize real, legalized recreational marijuana.
shorts are screwed and they know it. Expect FITX to go into the teens on Tuesday
China wants the islands for rare earths
Will Japan and China Go to War?
Japan's Abe worries a conflict could be sparked by something unexpected
Jan. 22, 2014321
Could Japan and China be on course to military conflict? Asia hands all over the Pacific Rim have recently been forced to contemplate the possibility by the bellicose war of words between Beijing and Tokyo over territorial disputes, increased military spending and a visit by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to a controversial shrine for Japan’s war dead. But even those who game out the direst scenarios tend to add, “Surely not …”
Surely the world’s second and third largest economies have too much to lose from a war, even a small skirmish? Surely the rest of the world (and especially the U.S., the biggest power in the Pacific) would restrain both sides before it came to actual combat? Surely two modern nations won’t allow historical grievances and perceived slights to push them into war? Surely not.
But when Abe met with reporters and editors at the World Economic Forum in Davos this afternoon, he was at some pains to avoid the expression, “Surely not.”
Instead, Abe warned that something entirely unexpected could become the flash point for conflagration. “There may be some conflict or dispute arising out of the blue, on an ad hoc level … or inadvertently,” he said. He didn’t offer any examples, but in a different context pointed out that 2014 will mark the centenary of World War I. That calamity, the gathered journalists needed no reminding, started with an unexpected event: an assassination in Sarajevo.
It didn’t help that Abe offered no plan to tone down the tensions between the Asian giants. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a clear and explicit road map,” he said. It might help, he suggested without much conviction, if Beijing and Tokyo established a “military-force-level communications channel.”
And what would he expect the U.S. to do if the two countries came to blows? Abe skirted past the q
Q: How effective is the HPV vaccine VGX-3100 on precancerous cervical cells?
A: Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
To test the effectiveness of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine VGX-3100, researchers took 18 women who have a type of precancerous change called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 or 3. Those women received three doses of VGX-3100 via electroporation, a shot accompanied with an electric pulse. The participants were asked to evaluate their side effects for seven days after each dose. Afterward, their immune responses were recorded with blood tests for antibodies against E6 and E7 proteins, which are found in precancerous cells and biopsies of cervical cancer specimens.
After the vaccine, the researchers found a stronger immune response to HPV-infected cells. However, future research will tell if this change will actually eliminate all abnormal cells infected with HPV and reduce these women’s risk of developing cervical cancer.
If successful, this vaccine may help some of the 12,000 women in the United States who are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. However, this vaccine can especially help the growing number of women in developing countries who have less access to HPV testing and regular Pap smears. In fact, cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in developing countries. There are an estimated 493,000 new cases and 274,000 deaths annually from this cancer.
But before it can help anyone, more research and testing need to be done in order to prove its effectiveness and safety. Though this study is quite groundbreaking, the researchers tested VGX-3100 on a very small number of women.
Since 99.7% of cervical cancers come from prior HPV infection, the best protection from cervical cancer is via regular gynecologic exams, Pap smears, HPV DNA testing, HPV vaccination, and safer sex.